Mike Preston’s report card: Position-by-position grades for Ravens’ 33-27 overtime loss to Raiders | COMMENTARY

Here’s how the Ravens graded out at each position after a 33-27 overtime loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday night in the season opener at Allegiant Stadium:


Lamar Jackson played a strong first half. He went through his progressions, threw to his check-down receivers and he was mechanically sound. He stepped into his throws and turned his hips toward his intended targets. He looked comfortable in the pocket and stepped up when pressured. But he struggled in the third quarter and started dropping his elbow and slinging the ball again. Jackson gets sloppy with his ball-handling at times, which is why he fumbled twice. Overall, though, he was the best player on the Ravens offense and had virtually no time to throw. He carried the offense, especially on the last drive in regulation that led to the go-ahead field goal. Grade: B


Running backs

Ty’Son Williams got the starting nod with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards out for the season and showed great speed after getting through the line of scrimmage on a 35-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. There were other times when he showed acceleration, but he never got in a rhythm. The Ravens also tried giving the ball to Latavius Murray and Trenton Cannon, but they weren’t going to have much success with this offensive line either. Murray had a strong touchdown run in the fourth quarter. Grade: C

Offensive line

This is the same offensive line that was on display in training camp. Raiders defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Maxx Crosby embarrassed offensive tackles Ronnie Stanley and Alejandro Villanueva. Both tackles were slow, and Villanueva played way too high on the right side. He had no leverage. Guards Tyre Phillips, Kevin Zeitler and Ben Powers got little movement at the point of attack. Grade: D



The Ravens never got in sync, and part of that was because the Raiders got so much pressure on Jackson. Tight end Mark Andrews got open several times, but Jackson missed him on several occasions until they started getting in sync in the second half. Receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown played well and ran some good routes. The Ravens need to use him more on crossing patterns. Sammy Watkins was involved in the offense early in the game and came up with a big catch in the fourth quarter that led to the go-ahead field goal. Grade: C+

Defensive line

Both end Calais Campbell and tackle Brandon Williams were strong defending the run. The Ravens also got a good effort from tackle Justin Ellis. But an old problem resurfaced. The Ravens’ front line can’t get any pressure on the quarterback except when they blitz, and even that didn’t work once the Raiders made some adjustments. End Derek Wolfe (back/hip) didn’t play, and that hurt. Grade: B-

Ravens linebacker Justin Houston celebrates after Baltimore sacked Raiders quarterback Derek Carr during the first half Monday night in Las Vegas.


The Ravens showed a lot of team speed, especially on the inside with Malik Harrison and Patrick Queen. They got to the ball carrier quickly, but they also missed a lot of tackles, particularly in the second half. They seemed to wear down. Outside linebackers Justin Houston and Odafe Oweh had some moments, but weren’t dominant in pressuring the quarterback. Oweh, the first-round rookie, was strong against the run. The Ravens have to find a way to harass quarterbacks without constantly blitzing. Grade: C


Strong safety Chuck Clark might have been the team’s top defensive player in coverage and as a pass rusher in the first three quarters. He was a playmaker. Overall, the secondary turned in a strong game considering the cornerbacks were left on an island because of all the blitzing. Anthony Averett filled in well for Marcus Peters (torn ACL) and cornerback Marlon Humphrey was good in coverage — until the final play — and physical in run support. Cornerback Tavon Young got called for two pass-interference penalties and both were justified. I don’t have a clue to what Humphrey was thinking on that game-winning touchdown pass. Grade: C

Special teams

Justin Tucker had a 40-yard field goal in the third quarter and what appeared to be the game-winning 47-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in regulation. Sam Koch did a good job of handling the snap on the final field-goal attempt. Devin Duvernay mishandled one punt, but almost returned one for a touchdown in the third quarter. The Ravens held Las Vegas’ return game in check, and they maintained and won the field-position game. Grade: B+

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh during the second half against the Raiders Monday night in Las Vegas.


Offensive coordinator Greg Roman has a lot of weaknesses, but he needs to help himself. If both tackles can’t block, then give them help by chipping with running backs or tight ends. If you want to slow a pass rush, then run some screens, draws or slants. The Ravens did very little of that. Defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale threw a lot of different looks at the Raiders in the first half but didn’t change things up in the second when the Raiders caught on. Grade: C-